State of the Bills: Quarterback not an immediate need, but team must look to future

Backup Mitchell Trubisky signed a one-year contract, and Jake Fromm and Davis Webb are unknowns.
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Being able to focus on the long term in next week's NFL Draft means the Bills could draft any player at any position, so long as general manager Brandon Beane and coach Sean McDermott believe the value is right.

They seem set at quarterback, for example, in 2021, But beyond this year, there are question marks.

Starter Josh Allen is eligible for a monster contract extension after nearly winning the league's MVP Award last season. Although the Bills don't anticipate any major roadblocks in getting him locked in, there are no guarantees.

Beane said the team already has started discussions with Allen's people and will go harder after the draft.

Mitchell Trubisky, with starting (and mostly winning) regular-season experience as well as two playoff games, was a nice a nice free-agent acquisition for them, especially at the unbelievably low price of $2.5 million.

But that's only for one year.

They drafted Jake Fromm last year and asked him to be a good soldier as their quarantine quarterback. He complied but has yet to take a snap in a game, so they can't be sure what they have in him.

Same with Davis Webb, who's been in the league since 2017 without even being on an active roster.

So in this installment of our series examining the strength of each Bills' position group leading up to the draft, the quarterback room will no doubt be strong, but the Bills could add a player to that mix as early as Day 2.

The addition of Trubisky does not necessarily mean the Bills are giving up on Fromm as a future No. 2. Rather, because they're in win-now mode, they can afford to be patient with a young player on a cost-controlled contract while making themselves more prepared to handle any kind of injury Allen may sustain this coming season.

Trubisky, who won with lesser teams in Chicago, is simply more of a sure thing than Fromm or Webb or anyone the Bills would realistically pluck from this year's draft pool.

As far as that draft pool goes, the Bills could be active in the quarterback market as early as the second round. However, the middle to late rounds are likely where they would make any moves, based on Beane's comments in a Zoom press conference this week.

He talked specifically about Day 2, which features the second and third rounds.

"Those are still premium picks," he said. "It's probably a more exciting day than Day 1 in a lot of respects. You're still hoping to get two players. Maybe they're starters, maybe they're not. But you're hoping they're vital contributors, if not immediately, then through their career depending on who they're backing up and what position it is.

"So it's very important for us to hit on those. We try not to take crazy risks in those rounds."

Given the hit rates on quarterbacks around the league, particularly over the last 10 seasons, don't look for the Bills to call any name from that position until at least Round 4.

On the other hand, they'd be foolish to pass up the opportunity to draft someone they like as a possible future backup quarterback, the second-most important position in professional sports.

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at www.si.com/nfl/bills and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro.